By Adetokunbo Fakeye
Nigeria – The Clerk to the National Assembly, Ojo Olatunde Amos, sent memo to President Muhammadu Buhari to give his assent to Federal University of Technology, Ipokia, Ogun State (establishment) Bill, which was first passed into law by the House of Representatives in July 2021.
The memo entitled: “Federal University of Technology, Ipokia (Establishment) Bill, 2022”, dated January 9, reads: “In consonance with the provisions of the Acts Authentication Act Cap. A2, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, I wish, with due respect, to forward to your Excellency, the authenticated copies of the Federal University of Technology, Ipokia (Establishment) Bill, 2022 for your consideration and assent.
“After your Excellency’s assent, one copy of the signed Bill should be retained in your office while the other two are to be returned for our further action, please”.
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Kolawole Lawal, representing Egbado South/Ipokia Federal Constituency in Ogun State and Chairman of the House Committee on Ethics & Privileges was first read on November 27, 2019 and passed through second reading one month later.
It was however passed into law by the House on July 8, 2021 and sent to the Senate for concurrence in accordance with the lawmaking process.
Lawal had argued during the Second Reading of the bill on 10th December, 2019 that “Ipokia is a border town, and the establishment of a University of technology in the town will not only encourage the people to seek higher education, but will also attract foreign students from neighbouring countries, and enhance development in the town, the State and Nigeria as a whole”.
According to him, “technology plays a critical role in transforming societies and economies through enhancing efficiency, connectivity and access to resources and services.
“Developments in science and technology are fundamentally altering the way people live, connect, communicate and transact, with profound effects on economic development, therefore, it is very important that we invest in quality education for youth. The economic growth, development and self -reliance of countries are actually rated as developed, developing or under-developed using the parameter of its technological development, which must be based on sound technological education. As an engine of growth, the potential of technology is endless.
“The neglect of technological education is robbing Nigeria of the contribution the graduates would be making to national development. Nigeria needs competent and internationally competitive auto mechanics and engineers, carpenters, plumbers, electricians and electrical engineers, fashion and leather designers, storekeepers, technologically competent farmers, etc. Graduates of technological education are mostly highly skilled entrepreneurs, therefore a university devoted to developing technological education in Nigeria will produce the professionals needed to take Nigeria to the next level.
“Many of the so-called expatriate engineers who are being paid huge sums of money in foreign currencies to build roads and bridges or dredge our channels are products of colleges or universities of technology”.
Ipokia is a border town with Benin Republic.